Imagine you were a head chef who wanted your restaurant customers to eat nothing but the most delicious apple pie — but to get your kitchen staff to make said pie, you gave them outdated tools, arbitrary rules with harsh penalties, and confusing recipes to follow.
It would be hard to imagine your kitchen running smoothly — or your guests leaving satisfied.
So too is it with government at all levels: You can dream up the most well-intentioned policy in the world for your constituents, but if you fail to provide those who are tasked with executing your policy with the right training, tools, or decision-making power, chances are your policy rollout will be a hot mess and citizens will feel unseen, unheard, disillusioned — and less likely to vote for you next time.
This aspect of leadership is at the heart of the latest episode of How to Really Run a City, The Citizen’s acclaimed podcast, hosted by former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, former Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Citizen Co-founder Larry Platt.
This installment features two guests. First, there’s Jennifer Pahlka, founder of Code for America and author of Recoding America: Why Government Is Failing in the Digital Age and How We Can Do Better, which Ezra Klein touted in The New York Times as “the book I wish every policymaker would read.” Next, there’s Little Rock, AR, Mayor Frank Scott, Jr., that city’s first African-American Mayor. Now in his second term, Scott has brought some 10,000 jobs to the city, overseen an increase in population from 185,000 to 205,000, and led a 13 percent year over year reduction in violent crime.
Listen to the newest episode here to learn about the art and science of implementation, and how we can all better execute — our most mundane tasks and our grandest visions — more successfully. Listen here:
MORE EPISODES OF HOW TO REALLY RUN A CITYGuests Little Rock, AK, Mayor Frank Scott, Jr., left, and author/tech expert Jennifer Pahlka, right